I work on ecology and biogeochemistry of plants and soils in the context of ongoing anthropogenic global change. I am particularly interested in nutrient (particularly nitrogen) dynamics, functional phenology, and plant investment into nutrient uptake and re-cycling. Methodologically, I use both destructive techniques, including stable isotope tracers (e.g. 13C and 15N) as well as non-destructive observational methods. Below-ground these latter methods are very limited and I am currently working on improving image interpretation (both in terms of information extraction and relevance to ecosystem functionality) from minirhizotron measurements of roots. I am also interested in analytical techniques (both classical statistics and machine learning methods) for interpreting and scaling field observations.
I am a member of the BAIE Group and Soil Biogeochemistry Group, working on plant-soil system processes in the MANIP experiment. At this site in the Spanish dehesa (a seasonally dry, managed agroforestry ecosystem), we manipulated N/P stoichometry by nutrient additions. We are interested in how this affects ecosystem processes, particularly its potential to act as a C sink or source. I joined the group in October 2015 have worked on a variety of experiments investigating belowground properties and responses to nutrient additions.
Minirhizotrons: I designed built a minirhizotron (below-ground camera system) root observations in situ have worked on developing quantitative methods for relating such 'remote sensed' observations to real properties of roots and soils, as well as using these methods for understanding ecosystem functioning.
From June 2017 to 2019, I was a Marie Curie Research Fellow. During this time we built automatic minirhizotron systems capable of super-high frequency observations, to capture fine-scale belowground phenology. I ran these systems both in mesocosms in Jena and then deployed them to our Spanish field site. In my current position I am still working on the longer term objectives of this project. More information about this project is available here
Stable Isotope Ecology: I have a background in stable isotope ecology and am still involved this field. In the context of my fieldwork, I have performed experiments using ^15^'N labelled litter at the MANIP site to measure litter decomposition and nutrient cycling processes.
All of my first author publications are open access (and most, if not all of my contributing author publications). If you have any difficulty accessing any of them, please contact me and I would be happy to assist you getting hold of a copy!